Skip to comments.THE UNRAVELING OF SYKES-PICOT (Patrick J. Buchanan)
Posted on 05/28/2013 2:36:07 PM PDT by neverdem
The thrice-promised land it has been called.
It is that land north of Mecca and Medina and south of Anatolia, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf.
In 1915 — that year of Gallipoli, which forced the resignation of First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill — Britain, to win Arab support for its war against the Ottoman Turks, committed, in the McMahon Agreement, to the independence of these lands under Arab rule.
It was for this that Lawrence of Arabia and the Arabs fought.
In November 1917, however, one month before Gen. Allenby led his army into Jerusalem, Lord Balfour, in a letter to Baron Rothschild, declared that His Majesty’s government now looked with favor upon the creation on these same lands of a national homeland for the Jewish people.
Between these clashing commitments there had been struck in 1916 a secret deal between Britain’s Mark Sykes and France’s Francois Georges-Picot. With the silent approval of czarist Russia, which had been promised Istanbul, these lands were subdivided and placed under British and French rule.
France got Syria and Lebanon. Britain took Transjordan, Palestine and Iraq, and carved out Kuwait.
Vladimir Lenin discovered the Sykes-Picot treaty in the czar’s archives and published it, so the world might see what the Great War was truly all about. Sykes-Picot proved impossible to reconcile with Woodrow Wilson’s declaration that he and the allies — the British, French, Italian, Russian and Japanese empires — were all fighting “to make the world safe for democracy.”
Imperial hypocrisy stood naked and exposed.
Wilson’s idealistic Fourteen Points, announced early in 1918, were crafted to recapture the moral high ground. Yet it was out of the implementation of Sykes-Picot that so much Arab hostility and hatred would come — and from which today’s Middle East emerged.
Nine decades on, the Sykes-Picot map of the Middle East seems about to undergo revision, and a new map, its borders drawn in blood, emerge, along the lines of what H.G. Wells called the “natural borders” of mankind.
“There is a natural and necessary political map of the world,” Wells wrote, “which transcends” these artificial states, and this natural map of mankind would see nations established on the basis of language, culture, creed, race and tribe. The natural map of the Middle East has begun to assert itself.
Syria is disintegrating, with Alawite Shia fighting Sunni, Christians siding with Damascus, Druze divided, and Kurds looking to break free and unite with their kinfolk in Turkey, Iraq and Iran. Their dream: a Kurdistani nation rooted in a common ethnic identity.
Shia Hezbollah controls the south of Lebanon, and with Shia Iran is supporting the Shia-led army and regime of Bashar Assad.
Together, they are carving out a sub-nation from Damascus to Homs to the Mediterranean. The east and north of Syria could be lost to the Sunni rebels and the Al-Nusra Front, an ally of al-Qaida.
Sectarian war is now spilling over into Lebanon.
Iraq, too, seems to be disintegrating. The Kurdish enclave in the north is acting like an independent nation, cutting oil deals with Ankara.
Sunni Anbar in the west is supporting Sunni rebels across the border in Syria. And the Shia regime in Baghdad is being scourged by Sunni terror that could reignite the civil-sectarian war of 2006-2007, this time without Gen. Petraeus’ U.S. troops to negotiate a truce or tamp it down.
Sunni Turkey is home to 15 million Kurds and 15 million Shia. And its prime minister’s role as middle man between Qatari and Saudi arms shipments and Syria’s Sunni rebels is unappreciated by his own people.
Seeing the Shia crescent — Hezbollah in Lebanon, Assad’s Syria, Nuri al-Maliki’s Iraq, the Ayatollah’s Iran — imperiled by the potential loss of its Syrian linchpin, Tehran and Hezbollah seem willing to risk far more in this Syrian war than does the Sunni coalition of Saudis, Qataris and Turks.
Who dares, wins.
Though the Turks have a 400,000-man, NATO-equipped army, a population three times that of Syria and an economy 12 times as large, and they are, with the Israelis, the strongest nations in the region, they appear to want the Americans to deal with their problem.
President Obama is to be commended for resisting neocon and liberal interventionist clamors to get us into yet another open-ended war. For we have no vital interest in Assad’s overthrow.
We have lived with him and his father for 40 years. And what did our intervention in Libya to oust Moammar Gadhafi produce but a failed state, the Benghazi atrocity, and the spread of al-Qaida into Mali and Niger?
Why should Americans die for a Sunni triumph in Syria? At best, we might bring about a new Muslim Brotherhood regime in Damascus, as in Cairo. At worst, we could get a privileged sanctuary for that al-Qaida affiliate, the Al-Nusra Front.
As the Sykes-Picot borders disappear and the nations created by the mapmakers of Paris in 1919-1920 disintegrate, a Muslim Thirty Years’ War may be breaking out in the thrice-promised land
It is not, and it should not become, America’s war.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”
Erroneous reading of current history, not, IMO, dishonest.
Which is exactly what The Won and his puppeteers wanted.
That’s just a dishonest evaluation of Buchanan, IMO.
It’s a 100% honest evaluation of Buchanan. It’s time people start calling him on the stuff he says. I don’t know if he is ignorant about history, or if he deliberately lies about historical facts, but he’s perpetuating falsehoods to promote his own left wing, anti-U.S., anti-Catholics, anti-Western, anti-Jewish point of view. Sorry, I am not afraid to call him on it.
That there’s funny, I don’t care who ya are!
Thanks for the link.
I think someone who was okay with the kidnap and assignation of Pope Pius XII, and a force that wanted to rid Europe of Catholicism qualifies as anti-Catholic. Especially for someone who was raised Catholic.
I know one thing... old pat would like it if he lived in 1938 Germany.
You’re entitled to your opinion. But where are the facts? It is obvious you don’t like Buchanan’s position of putting America first and staying out of local wars.
In fact, this current civil war in Syria is actually helping the U.S. Among other things, it's distracting Iran and Syria with their proxy war there. It's sucking all the energy of the Middle East into Syria.
I do, however, doubt Buchanan's claims that President Obama is such a hero in that regard. First of all, the President may get us into that war soon. Secondly, how come Buchanan gives him a pass on Libya? We had no reason to invade Libya. We only aided Al Qaeda by doing it. We were giving money to Gadaffi immediately before that.
It seems like Buchanan isn't always for putting the U.S. first and staying out of local wars first. He's quite the neocon when it suits his purpose. Maybe people should call him miniMcCain.
Lord Balfour, in a letter to Baron Rothschild, declared that His Majestys government now looked with favor upon the creation on these same lands of a national homeland for the Jewish people... Vladimir Lenin discovered the Sykes-Picot treaty in the czars archives and published it, so the world might see what the Great War was truly all about.... it was out of the implementation of Sykes-Picot that so much Arab hostility and hatred would come and from which todays Middle East emerged.Too bad he didn't manage to work in the Illuminati, the CFR, and Protocols of the Elders of Sion.
You have to find another source for info. Buchanan was against the war in Libya.
See:Its Their War, Not Ours by Patrick J. Buchanan, March 08, 2011
In my readings of Buchanan, he has been unfailing in his defense of traditional Catholic orthodoxy. I’d like to see where he attacks traditional Catholicism.
I think he would have made a decent president
Pat Buchanan’s goal for the past fifty years has been the preservation of American freedom and power.
Jewish Virtual Library: Sykes-Picot Agreement -- (in official terminology, the 1916 Asia Minor Agreement)... between the British and French governments pertaining to the partition of the Ottoman Empire among the Allied Powers... Russia was also privy to the discussions and consented to the terms. The agreement became official in an exchange of notes among the three Allied Powers on April 26 and May 23, 1916. In a subsequent stage Italy, too, gave her consent and the notes, which had been exchanged between April 10 and September 27, 1917, and were confirmed in the Treaty of St. Jean de Maurienne... Sir Edward Grey, the British foreign secretary ... "Our primary and vital object," he emphasized, "is not to secure a new sphere of British influence, but to get the Arabs on our side." ...In the years that followed, the Sykes-Picot Agreement became the target of bitter criticism, both in France and in England. Lloyd George referred to it as an "egregious" and a "foolish" document. He was particularly indignant that Palestine was inconsiderately mutilated... The true progenitor of the Sykes-Picot Agreement was the McMahon-Hussein correspondence. From this point of view Arab criticism is even less justified. The two negotiations showed meticulous consideration for Arab interests and blended it with healthy realism. The power vacuum created by the destruction of the Ottoman Empire had to be filled by a new authority; the alternative was chaos... During the discussions Sykes and Picot took note that the Jews throughout the world have "a conscientious and sentimental interest" in the future of the country. Zionist aspirations were passed over. This lapse was severely criticized by William R. Hall, head of the Intelligence Department of the British Admiralty. He pointed out that the Jews have "a strong material, and a very strong political interest in the future of the country and that in the Brown area the question of Zionism [ought] to be considered." ...The agreement was officially abrogated by the Allies at the San Remo Conference in April 1920, when the Mandate for Palestine was conferred upon Britain.
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